Review: Bunny Tales – Behind Closed Doors at the Playboy Mansion by Izabella St. James

June 22, 2016 2 stars, 2016 Review Challenge, 2016 Something For Everyone Challenge, Autobiography, Book Review, Hardback, Meh, Non- Fiction, slice of life 1 ★★

Review: Bunny Tales – Behind Closed Doors at the Playboy Mansion by Izabella St. James two-stars
Bunny Tales by Izabella St. James
Published by Running Press on August 21, 2006
Genres: AutoBiography, Nonfiction
Pages: 253
Format: Hardcover
Buy It Here!
This is the untold, no-holds-barred, true story of life in the Playboy Mansion, as experienced by a unique insider.

Izabella St James left life behind the iron curtain for the beaches of Malibu. Young, blond and pretty she was looking for fun, and the South California nightlife was a powerful magnet. Out clubbing one night she met Hugh Hefner and his friends. Beyond the silk robe and the age-proof good looks, Hugh was a genial man who invited Izabella to join his group of friends and then move into the world famous Mansion as one of Hef's girlfriends.

"Bunny Tales" is Izabella's story - of a party girl who discovered what work it is to play all the time. Plastic surgery, gorgeous clothes, cool cars and a weekly allowance are the perks of Mansion life. But Hef's girlfriends are a clique, a sorority, a group of best buddies and bitter rivals, the worst of high school in an adult party circuit. Izabella was witness to the growing pains of an empire - and legend - built on a revolution long over. Like the best relationships, "Bunny Tales" is honest and fun, revealing and real, satisfying and surprising.

Let me start with some honesty: Bunny Tales is not my typical sort of read. I became interested in reading Bunny Tales because I totally used to watch The Girls Next Door which starred Kendra Wilkinson, Holly Madison and Bridget Marquardt. When I started watching it, my curiosity was set aflame: like everyone else, I knew about Hugh Hefner and his harem but only vaguely. The Girls Next Door turned the vague idea of Hef’s harem into a reality. I’ve enjoyed harem romances in the past so I was very interested! I started looking around the internet for more information about their lifestyle(s) and learned about a book to be released: Bunny Tales. I read a sample/teaser chapter online – but I think that chapter was edited out (for legal reasons, lol). I was totally grossed out by the chapter I read – in the most delicious way. But I put the book out of my mind and just watched the show.

I didn’t think about Bunny Tales or reading any books by/about Hefner’s Harem until Holly Madison left the Playboy Mansion and started all types of online shit: her claims that Hef made her suicidal and her mega twitter fights with Kendra Wilkinson. View Spoiler »

The cat-fighting [between Kendra and Holly] reminded me of Bunny Tales but I still didn’t pick it up. About a month later, it suddenly felt as if I was being given a sign it was time to satisfy my curiosity: a GR friend read Bunny Tales, Sliding Into Home by Kendra and Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly – and she was posting reviews with some great gossip. Then the Shannon Twins [former Playmates and Girlfriends] that supplanted the original “Girls Next Door” girls were on Botched (sad, right?? They are only 24 y/o) to get their noses and boobs fixed after being botched by Hef’s surgeon(s).

So I finally bought a copy of Bunny Tales (no library copies available) and reserved copies of Sliding Into Home and Down the Rabbit Hole at my library.

Bunny Tales is FULL of the expected bitchiness, cattiness and whorish-ness I was expecting. I was rather sadden to realize that the teaser chapter I read years ago apparently was edited out of the final copy. In the teaser I read, Izabella went into greater detail about Sex Night with Hef: How all the girls were required to get into a communal bubble bath for photos; how no protection AT ALL was used; how there were multiple pink nighties (almost uniforms!) for the girls to wear after the bath; how Holly would prepare a huge bowl of hot, wet towels for the girls to use to wipe themselves down before/after sex with Hef; how the girls would fake having girl-on-girl sex for Hef; and how after the “orgy” was finished Holly would pour baby oil down her back and then Hef would screw her in the ass. O_O Bunny Tales was published in 2006 – so it seems like Kendra’s comments about Holly (above) have some truth!

Izabella tries to maintain the fiction that she was better than the other girls – she was there for the “experience” since [law] school was hard and long work. Izabella wanted to be young and carefree and party – she felt she’d wasted her youth with studying. In truth, I felt that Izabella was no different than the rest of the girls – more intelligent, possibly, but not different.

Izabella often says that she was with Hef because of her interest in Hef as a person and because of the “experience.” But when you look at the reasons she gives for her interest in Hef – they all boil down to money: she calls his frequent expenditures on her behalf as Hef simply being “kind, thoughtful, considerate and a gracious host.” These include things like: a new computer, allowance for clothes/hair, hosting a party for a friend, etc.

He also won me over with being kind and thoughtful. I had mentioned to Mary, who kept a watch on my studies, that I needed a new computer to take my exam on. She was going to check if there was one available at the office I could borrow. Without waiting for her to find out, I went and bought one on my credit card. When she found out, she called to tell me that Hef wanted to pay for it. I was overjoyed, Not only was it a tremendous help financially, but it was also a very sweet and considerate gesture. Hef continued being very attentive and caring toward me, and I could not help but grow to care about him. I really enjoyed his company.
-pg 57-58

Izabella does have a law degree and her parents have money to support her – she could have utilized that degree and become a licensed attorney – but she was more interested in being considered pretty and having fun on someone else’s dime. Just like the rest of the harem. Izabella didn’t need to be a part of Hugh Hefner’s little Harem but she was seduced by her own greed and laziness.

So. Speaking of greed…what do you get as a Hugh Hefner “Girlfriend” in exchange for your dignity, self-worth, and sexual performances?
– $1,000 a week cash allowance (in 2006!!)
– $500 – $2,000 clothing/beauty allowance per event
– Free room and board (including 24/7 room service) at the Playboy Mansion
– free plastic surgery (boobs, nose, injections, etc)
– free dentistry (including veneers)
– Free beauty services (hair, nails, lashes, etc)
– “new” car payments (and valet parking)
– laundry/cleaning services
– Access to lots of sexy parties which include lots of celebrities

What do you give as a Hugh Hefner “Girlfriend”?
– Live in the Playboy Mansion
– 9pm curfew
– Not allowed to have a job
– various public events/appearances
– Movie night with Hef (he loves old movies)
– help recruit new girls for Hef
– Go out with Hef 2 nights a week to a club
– have “sex night” two nights a week (club nights) which are “orgies”
– have sex with Hef while he’s slicked up in baby oil
– Get reoccurring yeast infections from baby oil and having sex with a guy who has multiple partners
– absence of condoms
– multiple [girl] sex partners

I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t do it.

Izabella spent a lot of time complaining that she wasn’t getting more from Hef: her carpet was dirty, her room was small, the provided furniture used; the Mansion is run down and smells; Hef wouldn’t pay for her school loans; Hef wouldn’t buy her a brand new luxury car (only payments); she couldn’t go out and flirt with other boys; the other girls got her into trouble, etc. Izabella was also very put out by the ex-Girlfriends – apparently their previous bad behavior caused the restrictions of brand new luxury cars, the 9pm curfew and a lot of other things that Izabella complained she never received but should have.

Izabella also spent a lot of time putting the other girls down – I think this is to help her feel better about herself and her actions. I do feel that – although she’s intelligent and has her law degree – Izabella has never and will never practice because she has stuck a piece of dynamite into her career and reputation.

If you stayed long enough, then you could get everything you wanted; for example, Emma got her breasts and her nose done, her veneers, and Hef paid for her green card, which cost thousands, and all of that adds up to a lot of money. She was really good at getting things from Hef by being extra affectionate and using baby talk. I just couldn’t do that; when i needed or wanted something, I simply explained myself in a logical manner.
-pg 110

As you get to the end of the mildly interesting drama that is Bunny Tales, Izabella’s complaints kick into high gear. In the two years Izabella was at the Mansion, Holly managed to become the #1 Girlfriend and Bridget has moved in – forming a tight team. According to Izabella, this is when the money started getting tight. Suddenly there was less money being given out for the event bonuses (clothes, etc) – which Izabella blames on Holly [and Bridget] being jealous and talking to Hef. The girls could see the writing on the wall and finally started saving money. This is the point in Bunny Tales that Izabella starts yammering about her “pride.” Her pride seemed awfully attached to $$$.

And that’s when it came to me: what the hell was I doing? I visualized my apartment; it was no mansion but it was five times bigger than my room, it was cleaner, quieter, had nice furniture, and I could actually make my own breakfast. It was time to stop complaining like a spoiled brat and start living my own life once again. This set up was still perfect for people who are lazy and satisfied living off of fame of another, but that was not me, it never had been. I had a ton of fun and fantastic experiences, but that seem to be over. It was time to move on and let someone new move in and enjoy the temporary Bliss of the Playboy Mansion.
-pg 222-223

Izabella’s final complaints? Hef not making sure the Girlfriends were taken care of if they left – but Hef was paying each girl $48,000 a year plus room & board! Plus any and all beauty treatments. Plus plastic surgery (Izabella got her boobs and nose done). Plus car payments. Plus bonus money (for clothing) for special events. WTF else is he supposed to do for you???? Where the fuck did all your money go???

…Hef never asked if you had any money when he kicked you out or you were leaving by choice. He did not ask a girl if she had enough money to make a deposit on an apartment, if she was going to be okay, or if she needed money to get started. Even the maids got severance pay when they got laid off. Hef’s Girlfriends get nothing. When you told him you were leaving or if he told you that you should leave, you were out of his sight and out his concern.
-pg 228-229

The best parts of Bunny Tales – for me – were the different view point of Holly, Bridget and Kendra.
– Of Holly: She was desperate and eager to be part of Hef’s harem. She remade herself from the bottom up in order to be the epitome of Hef’s dreams. She started an aggressive sexual relationship with Hef the moment she could and was always jealous of any attention given to other women [by Hef]. Holly’s #1 goal was to become Mrs. Hugh Hefner and would stop at nothing to achieve this.

– Of Bridget: She was sneaky and manipulative at all times – and married. Her only goal was to become a Playmate and/or other media related stardom. Bridget is blamed for Izabella’s final fight with Hef – she says Bridget set her up by falsely accusing Izabella of starting a fight.

– Of Kendra: At 18, Kendra was the youngest Girlfriend, ever (later the Shannon Twins were also 18). She made a point to be seen by Hef. She was groomed by Holly and Bridget in their plan to get rid of the other Girlfriends. Izabella promised they [Holly & Bridget] would hate Kendra later because of her youth, beauty and her outgoing personality.

All in all, I’ll only refer to Bunny Tales again when I write my reviews for the rest of the books by Hef’s harem. It was mildly interesting and very easy to read. The bitchy comments were hilarious, however.

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